Writing an Effective Job Description

By Douglas Weinstein
Published on: September 24, 2020

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A good job description is much more than a laundry list of tasks and responsibilities. A well-written and well-thought out job description provides a roadmap for potential new employees, as well as for existing employees when job responsibilities change over time. And most critically, effective job descriptions are a useful tool for measuring performance and a reference point in the event of employer/employee disputes. So be accurate, be upfront and put some thought into crafting your definition of the job responsibilities and expectations.

To begin with, your job description needs to give the candidate a sense of the priorities involved in the job. And it needs to articulate what the company’s goals are long-term in trying to fill a particular position – who are you trying to hire, what needs to be accomplished, what problems will they be solving? Your first task in coming up with the proper job description is to answer this question: Do you truly understand the ideal candidate?

Keep in mind that a poorly defined and articulated job description will lengthen the process of hiring the right candidate. That’s money you’re throwing out the window. Only when you can write a description that fully meets the needs of the company and the position will you get close to identifying the ideal candidate. Here are the basic functions of a properly written job description:

  • It describes the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role;
  • It defines where the job fits within the overall company hierarchy;
  • It is used as the basis for the employment contract; and
  • It is a valuable performance management tool.

A job description details the responsibilities of the job role along with the objectives for the job role and the requirements needed for the job role. In addition, you’ll want to include details about the ideal new employee, listing their skills and experiences you are seeking and the personality type that would fit well within your company.

By creating a detailed job description you are thinking about the exact skills and experience you need for the role and the type of personality that would work in your business and the team they will be working in. You’ll be one step closer to the Unique Ability Organization!


Douglas Weinstein

Douglas Weinstein

Doug is the Editor and co-founder of the Technology Insider Group and Technology Designer Magazine. Previously, he was the Executive Director and co-founder of the Elf Foundation, a non-profit organization that created Room of Magic entertainment theaters in children's hospitals across North America.

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